Agriculture: Electric fencing has eased the lives of farmers in Ura, Bumthang. They no longer have to spend sleepless nights in their farm houses guarding crops today.

They are thankful for the technology as they can peacefully sleep at home after backbreaking farm work during the day.

Kencho Namgay, 42, from Matrong said the electric fencing has not only helped people protect their crops from wild animals but has also enabled people to reclaim lands which were left fallow for many years.

“I had left a plot of land at Kharshong fallow due to wild animals but I have cultivated buckwheat there today,” he said. His potato field at Trong is also protected by an electric fence today.

Ugyen Lhadon, 44 from Matrong said wild boars ate all their buckwheat. Today, the electric fence keeps the boars away but the animals still keep getting into their fields from locations where electric fencing has not been completed.

Most fields in Bumthang are protected by a double layer of fencing: an electric fence and ordinary barbwire.

Records with the dzongkhag agriculture section in Bumthang show that some 52.56km of fencing was completed as of June this year.

Of these, Ura gewog has the furthest with 21.2km followed by Chokhor gewog with 15.96km. Chumey has 8.8km and Tang has 6.6km.

Kencho Namgay said the people maintained their electric fencings. “Maybe this is why the fencings are very effective,” he said.

Bumthang dzongkhag agriculture officer, Gaylong, said electric fencing is being installed in all the gewogs. Electric fencing was first tried out in 2014 on a trial basis in Ura geowg and Jalikhar village in Chamkhar.

The government provides inputs while farmers have to provide labour and also purchase pipes and nails. “Jalikhar village has the maximum volume of land reclaimed,” he said.

Nima Wangdi | Ura